Methodist Studies

Holy Communion in Cannon Chapel

Candler is deeply dedicated to serving The United Methodist Church. Our Methodist Studies Program promotes the ethos of the Wesleyan heritage by offering a full range of courses in Methodist studies, stewarding denominational and conference relations, mentoring candidates seeking ordination, organizing denominational activities, and building ecumenical relationships.

United Methodist students have the option of either Contextual Education or Teaching Parish as their field education experience at Candler. In addition, we encourage students to explore internships with local churches, United Methodist community organizations, and general agencies such as the General Board of Global Ministries (based in Atlanta) and the General Board of Church and Society.

We frequently welcome representatives, bishops and cabinet members from annual conferences and church development initiatives, guest speakers and representatives from general agencies, and other significant denominational and jurisdictional groups to meet and engage with students. In any given year, the Methodist Studies office will host about 30 different sets of representatives. Set up a visit here.

Methodist Studies occasionally partners with annual conferences for lifelong learning events such as the Marcy Preaching Fellowship with Florida and the Board of Ordained Ministry Prep workshop with North Georgia. In partnership with the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, our office also trains United Methodist pastors through United Methodist Course of Study.

student preaching at front of church

The Ordination Process

Students interested in exploring the call to ordination in The United Methodist Church are encouraged to begin the process before starting seminary by contacting the pastor of their local church, another ordained deacon or elder, or their district superintendent. Once you're enrolled at Candler, courtesy mentors and a vocational discernment course are available. The assistant dean of Methodist Studies also offers one-on-one consultations and workshops, and fosters relationships between students, district committees, and conference boards of ordained ministry.

Meet the Methodist Studies Team

Brett Opalinski

The Rev. Dr. Brett Opalinski

Assistant Dean of Methodist Studies

Kevin Murriel

The Rev. Dr. Kevin Murriel

Black Methodist Seminarians Program Director

United Methodist Faculty

Dr. Elizabeth Corrie, Professor in the Practice of Youth Education and Peacebuilding

Dr. David Daniel, Assistant Professor in the Practice of Music Ministry; Director of Chapel Music

The Rev. Dr. L. Wesley de Souza, Arthur J. Moore Associate Professor in the Practice of Evangelism; Director of the World Methodist Evangelism Institute (WMEI)

The Rev. Dr. Thomas W. Elliott, Jr., Professor in the Practice of Practical Theology and Methodist Studies; Director of Contextual Education II, Teaching Parish Program, and Internships

The Rev. Dr. Gregory C. Ellison II, Associate Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling

Bishop Larry M. Goodpaster, Bishop-in-Residence; Director of Early Career Pastoral Leadership Program

Dr. Jehu J. Hanciles, D.W. and Ruth Brooks Professor of World Christianity; Director of the World Christianity Program

The Rev. Dr. Arun W. Jones, Dan and Lillian Hankey Associate Professor of World Evangelism

Dr. Helen Jin Kim, Associate Professor of American Religious History

The Rev. Dr. Joel M. LeMon, Rev. Dr. Donald Allen Harp, Jr. Distinguished Associate Professor of Biblical Studies

Dr. Jan Love, Mary Lee Hardin Willard Dean and Professor of Christianity and World Politics

The Rev. Dr. Kevin Murriel, Assistant Professor in the Practice of Practical Theology; Black Methodist Seminarians Program Director

The Rev. Dr. Brett Opalinski, Assistant Dean of Methodist Studies; Professor in the Practice of Ecclesiology and Church Leadership

The Rev. Dr. L. Edward Phillips, Associate Professor of Historical Theology and Christian Worship; Coordinator of the Initiative in Religious Practices and Practical Theology

The Rev. Dr. P. Alice Rogers, Associate Professor in the Practice of Practical Theology

The Rev. Dr. R. Kendall Soulen, Professor of Systematic Theology